Limelight

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Little Women (2019) Lynden Barber Gerwig's innovation is to reflexively fold the story of Alcott's own struggle to publish into the character of Jo March. She's helped enormously by Saoirse Ronan's spunky performance as Jo. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2020
4.5/5 Sorry to Bother You (2018) Lynden Barber It's not an easy watch, but it is memorable and compelling -- the rare film that comments on the peculiar details of a historical moment while we are still going through it and makes all too clear sense of it. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2019
4.5/5 Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Lynden Barber It's a quiet, meditative film that is indeed beautiful to, yes, gaze upon while you ponder its subtle yet powerful accumulation of thoughts and questions. EDIT
Posted Dec 27, 2019
2.5/5 The Report (2019) Lynden Barber An inquiry into post 9/11 torture suffers from a tortuous start... EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
() Lynden Barber What makes Martha work so well is that it paints a multi-layered and intimate portrait of an inspiring and unique veteran woman artist who has spent her career taking risks and winning respect in a work scene dominated by males. EDIT
Posted Dec 6, 2019
4/5 Knives Out (2019) Lynden Barber Johnson's plotting is cleverly twisty and unpredictable and the dialogue witty. Even those without fond memories of the Cluedo board game or Anthony Shaffer's classic two-hander, Sleuth, should find Knives Out a rewarding amusement. EDIT
Posted Dec 5, 2019
4/5 Judy (2019) Lynden Barber !t's the actor's command of Garland's flickeringly complex emotions -- shame, fear and frustration mixed with enormous pride and self-possession -- that make this more than a good impersonation but a fascinating and hugely empathetic performance. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
3.5/5 Vita & Virginia (2018) Lynden Barber For many the film will ultimately succeed or fall on Elizabeth Debicki's depiction of Woolf as a wanly frail creature, forever on the verge of falling apart. EDIT
Posted Oct 17, 2019
3/5 Ride Like a Girl (2019) Lynden Barber Teresa Palmer is terrific as the determined jockey initially mentored by her trainer father. EDIT
Posted Oct 2, 2019
5/5 Dogman (2018) Lynden Barber With his hugely expressive eyes, Fonte (an amateur actor in a community centre drama that Garrone met by chance) is a major reason Dogman works so devastatingly well. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
3.5/5 The Nightingale (2018) Lynden Barber The Nightingale is a realistic historical drama, though its darkness and intensity show Kent's horror leanings are never really absent, merely given a different context. EDIT
Posted Aug 30, 2019
3/5 Ophelia (2018) Lynden Barber Many Hamlet-lovers will scoff, while for those unfamiliar with the tale, it will make little sense. EDIT
Posted Aug 12, 2019
4/5 An Unexpected Love (2003) Lynden Barber A fascinatingly talky, intelligent drama with comic moments. Apart from being beautifully mounted visually, it's also flawlessly acted. EDIT
Posted Jul 3, 2019
4/5 2040 (2019) Lynden Barber None of the ideas explored here are purely theoretical or pie in the sky. Whether technological or systems-based solutions, they all exist now and could be massively expanded to huge global benefit. EDIT
Posted May 24, 2019
3.5/5 Peterloo (2018) Lynden Barber Peterloo is an impressive and absorbing achievement that brings an important yet surprisingly forgotten event back into the mainstream consciousness. EDIT
Posted May 17, 2019
2.5/5 Sometimes Always Never (2018) Lynden Barber The story, partly built around a road trip, is unpredictable, but new director Hunter is a bit too keen to dial up the quirk factor. EDIT
Posted Mar 14, 2019
4/5 Cold War (2018) Lynden Barber If all of Hollywood is a form of melodrama, here is its opposite - understated drama that pulls between poignancy and, via its music, a more full-blooded life spirit. EDIT
Posted Feb 8, 2019
3/5 The Old Man & the Gun (2018) Lynden Barber Matching Redford for charm is Sissy Spacek as his love interest, the horse ranch-owning widow he 'helps' by the side of the road while trying to elude the cops on his tail. EDIT
Posted Nov 15, 2018
4/5 Ladies in Black (2018) Lynden Barber From the eye-popping colours of the period's fabulous floral dresses to the snapped suspenders and silk petticoats beneath, this is a film above all for women who love fashion. EDIT
Posted Oct 25, 2018
3.5/5 Whitney (2018) Lynden Barber Fascinating, well-made and moving - albeit not as unique and necessary as it probably wants us to find it. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2018
3.5/5 Ideal Home (2018) Lynden Barber [Writer-director Andrew Fleming] approaches his material from the inside, and this contributes greatly to the success of the project. EDIT
Posted Jul 5, 2018
3/5 Last Flag Flying (2017) Lynden Barber Linklater's visual sense has largely deserted him here... or maybe it's just the damp weather blanketing most scenes. But the lead performances are exemplary and the emotional landscape they traverse is far from grey. EDIT
Posted Apr 26, 2018
4.5/5 The Party (2017) Lynden Barber Potter handles the competing sub-plots like an experienced emergency surgeon in a disaster zone, exploring themes including rationality versus irrationality and the sickness lurking within apparently healthy relationships. EDIT
Posted Apr 13, 2018
5/5 The Death of Stalin (2017) Lynden Barber The film manages to be both scabrously funny and bone chilling as it nails Stalinism's absurdity and inhumanity. EDIT
Posted Apr 3, 2018
4.5/5 The Square (2017) Lynden Barber The Square is littered with dramatic confrontations and struggles that make it engaging and accessible to a wider audience without undermining its thoughtfulness or ability to take outlandish risks and pull them off. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2018
4/5 Una mujer fantástica (2017) Lynden Barber This fantastic Chilean woman very much lives up to the film's title. EDIT
Posted Mar 1, 2018
4/5 Sweet Country (2017) Lynden Barber .. this new Australian western plays as darkly and seriously as Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, except that this time the forces of violence and retribution are rooted in the soils of colonial racism. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2018
3/5 Ôtez-moi d'un doute (2017) Lynden Barber This admirably adult romantic comedy from French female director and co-writer Carine Tardieu raises a few smiles without ever being exactly hilarious. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2018
3.5/5 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) Lynden Barber While the film certainly has its fair spray of black comedy, not all of it that amusing, it turns out, to its benefit, to be far more morally layered, unpredictable and thoughtful than its marketing campaign suggests. EDIT
Posted Jan 17, 2018
Never Let Me Go (2010) Lynden Barber Only when the girls team up does the film start to fulfill its promise. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Mad Bastards (2011) Lynden Barber There's no denying the film has real heart, buoyed by surprisingly strong performances from a mostly inexperienced cast who drew on their own lives in creating their characters. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Sleeping Beauty (2010) Lynden Barber Understatedly strange, erotic, quietly surrealistic and slightly disturbing, it's a striking film that immediately marks out its Australian writer-director as a confident new cinematic voice. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Pina (2011) Lynden Barber Instead of being handed facts that could be more readily imparted by a literary biography, we are immersed in [subject Bausch's] startling dance work ... and invited to examine her philosophy and work methods. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Jane Eyre (2011) Lynden Barber As the self-possessed governess Jane, Mia Wasikowska is perfection - relatively plain, the right age (early 20s) and charismatic, while Michael Fassbender's Mr Rochester is all glowering vigour. Pure pleasure. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
The Illusionist (2010) Lynden Barber The film is best thought of as a fond homage to Tati from a sympathetic admirer rather than a literal attempt at realising his intentions ... In this it succeeds exquisitely. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2011) Lynden Barber We're told there's deep emotion on the screen, but it's hard to feel it. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
The Eye of the Storm (2011) Lynden Barber The leads make a meal of their roles in the best possible sense, while the director's daughter, Alexandra Schepisi, makes a major impression as love-seeking nurse Flora. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Midnight in Paris (2011) Lynden Barber Adding depth to the comedy is a smart thematic idea: that golden ages are never golden to those living through them, who merely hanker to escape their own period too. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
() Lynden Barber As much as I wanted to be moved by Eleftheriadis, who played the role on stage, there's never the dramatic context needed to make her fine acting meaningful. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Service Entrance (2010) Lynden Barber Director and co-writer Philippe Le Guay deploys a gift for wry observation with a deftly understated approach that defuses the danger of triteness and makes the film a satisfying experience. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
The Skin I Live In (2011) Lynden Barber Georges Franju's 1960 classic horror Eyes Without a Face is an obvious touchstone but the new film is more ridiculous than horrific. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Coriolanus (2011) Lynden Barber Fiennes, who previously played the title role in a celebrated London theatre, makes a suitably haughty and intense Coriolanus, while Vanessa Redgrave is in terrific form as the general's influential mother. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Delicacy (2011) Lynden Barber Co-directors David and Stephane Foenkinos (adapting the former's novel) ... play cute, shying away from ironic observation and relying too heavily on charm. EDIT
Posted Jan 3, 2018
Café de Flore (2011) Lynden Barber For 90 of the total 120 minutes two story threads remain frustratingly unconnected. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2018
Where Do We Go Now? (2011) Lynden Barber Labaki has made something absolutely bold and unique with this tragi-comedy. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2018
Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012) Lynden Barber The film aims for something timeless and achieves it. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2018
A Royal Affair (2012) Lynden Barber The great achievement of director Nikolaj Arcel and screenwriter Rasmus Heisterberg ... is to satisfactorily unite the romantic, dramatic and political elements into a single cohesive unit where all parts are inter-dependent. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2018
What's in a Name (2012) Lynden Barber Adapting their own material, directors Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patelliere keep it all moving at breakneck speed while adding necessary moments of repose, and the actors ... give it their all. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2018
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2013) Lynden Barber The film has access to some fascinating expert witnesses and commentators. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2018
Amour (2012) Lynden Barber Even for Haneke this is astringent stuff, light on visual flourish or narrative surprise, but driving it all are magnificent performances that cut right to the quick. The film's unblinking honesty has quiet integrity and power. EDIT
Posted Jan 2, 2018